Most people are chock-a-block with inhibitions and hang-ups. Many of these arise from their social conditioning, there is absolute terror of the social faux pas. Many walk around with a pole up their arse and as a result they die painfully of splinters. The list of taboo things is long. As a rule, people are fearful of being open and honest, they are very guarded. This results in endless gameplay.
Some simply have never expressed themselves at all. They are like a volcano and fit to pop, they give off sulphurous emissions and steam, and that is about all. Most people are literally fuming all the time. We rarely profess love from the heart. And we are shit scared of being vulnerable in any way. Some are very body conscious and dare not show their body. Talk of shit, piss and periods, can make some squeamish. We do not like to see a chicken killed but many go to visit The Colonel. Life and death comes pre-packaged at Waitrose. Not many have gutted a fish or wrung a neck. A mere mouse can have us squealing. Many men are fearful of taking a piss in a gay bar in case another man looks at their cock.
Some of these inhibitions are more than a little silly.
There are many hang-ups about all sorts of things. Some carry their lies around their neck like a necklace of skulls. The fear of being found out is petrifying. People are burdened and edgy all of the time.
As an exercise:
Take a look at your life.
What makes you squeamish?
What topics are a conversational no-go zone for you?
Make a list of all your inhibitions and all the things that you are hung up about.
Is there a sound basis for these inhibitions and hang-ups?
Would you feel freer if you conquered them?
Would you be less burdened?
Sanity lies somewhere between the inhibitions of conventional morality and the looseness of the extreme impulse.
In fact, a person always finds when he begins to practice meditation that all sorts of problems are brought out. Any hidden aspects of your personality are brought out into the open, for the simple reason that for the first time you are allowing yourself to see your state of mind as it is.
We must continue to be open in the face of great opposition. No one is encouraging us to be open and still we must peel away the layers of the heart.
The point is not to convert anyone to our view, but rather to help people wake to their own view, their own sanity.
The challenge of warriorship is to live fully in the world as it is and to find within this world, with all its paradoxes, the essence of nowness. If we open our eyes, if we open our minds, if we open our hearts, we will find that this world is a magical place.
Enlightenment is ego’s ultimate disappointment.
Rather than living in The Age of Aquarius we are in fact living in The Age of Vicarious. The dawning of this age has been swift and never before have we been able to live our lives so vicariously through the portrayal of the lives of others. We can wait with bated breath for the latest snippet from our favourite celebrity on the internet, we can play games on computers, we can watch people fuck, we can watch “reality” TV and mainline soap opera. We can watch food porn, travel porn and house buying porn. We can stalk our friends on Facebook.
This is where we as a humanity are at, The Age of Vicarious.
This is ersatz, it is not real. But we are so deeply immersed in this that I wonder what it is doing to us. Before long we will have no need for a body, simply a human computer interface which is soft wired into our brains. We can then sit and have endless stuff fed down optical fibres direct into our cortex. We can live entirely vicariously safe in our electronic mobility device, a device which we can operate with our brain alone.
Having cued this up:
What percentage of my life is lived vicariously?
Do I perhaps need to reduce this percentage?
Or is everything just dandy?
A lot of people are on this status trip. And this notion of status can be “measured” by a whole bunch of indicators. Nowadays there are a lot of “millionaires”, all you have to do is own a house in London. One of the ones, a regular three bedroomed house, which I used to co-own in London, is now priced above this magical figure of one million. We might attribute status to class and this whole snobbery thing is a very common subject in British comedy. We might have “brainy” status and we might have status due to our associations. I guess there is some small residual status on this dimension for me. I was once associated with “brainy” places. We might defer to status as a font of knowledge. And this status thing can go to our heads, we may swell. We have expert status, we have blue-blood and we have this celebrity status. We have VIP status. Status is linked to importance and of course self-importance.
But should cancer strike, it doesn’t care what our status is. Nor would a hungry leopard should we find ourselves alone in the jungle at night.
We can have inverted snobbery. We can have lust for attention and if I understand it correctly on social media we can even make status updates. Status is largely a social thing conferred by other human beings. I doubt God is overly fussed about our mundane status. People of high status will only listen to others of high status. Which suggests that status can be incestuous.
Having cued this up:
How important is this whole status trip to me?
Am I seeking status?
When will I have enough status to be happy?
Given that people like to compare things I was sorely tempted to put up an image of people comparing the size of their cocks, but I resisted. There is nothing like providing a list of criteria to stimulate this comparison mind in people so enamoured. The rank-sorting fascination kicks in and the mental spreadsheet is booted up. We humans are obsessed with comparison.
It can be “the grass is greener” or your Audi TT is faster than my Peugeot GTi. This sense of rank and status and ordering, underpins social conditioning. We live in Top Trumps world. For whatever reason we want to know where we stand on this criteria ladder. We can spend (waste) vast amounts of time comparing things and ourselves. Even the Buddhists were at it!
Once we start to classify, categorize and compare, we reduce dimensionality. And if we have a reductionist science view, we seek to only vary one parameter at a time.
Having cued this up:
How much time do I waste making comparisons?
Why am I so enamoured?
In the final analysis what purpose does it serve?
Call it what you want, I, ME, the little self. This sense of being entirely separate where the entire universe revolves around ME is the cause of much drama and loss of perspective. This thing, this ME, wants, it desires, and it gets offended. It has anxieties and it has fears. It fails to consider that there are other beings on the planet and has trouble imagining that these other beings might have different views. This I, so full of drama, sulks when it does not get what it wants. It is more than a little petulant. And like the hungry bird in the nest waiting for the worm it can make a hell of a lot of noise so as to attract attention to itself. This I, loves to opine. This I, this ME, compares its body to others and so often in that comparison finds itself wanting. Always ME, I want, I demand, I acquire; it is not overly keen on sharing.
Centred in self, it sees the world out there as being distinct and separate. It may gather together with other MEs to form an US. And then like a fractal, it says WE. WE are the most important things. Thus, we have not only the dramatic I, but also the dramatic WE. The sense of separation, of being separate, reaches out from a single point, to a national one. WE British are better than Johnny Foreigner. WE won’t play games with the EU, because WE don’t like the rules. And if we don’t get our own way…..
So, I and WE separate and engage in conflict and demand. They make “enemies” out of everyone who is not ME or US. It is everyone else who is the problem, not I or US.
Having cued this up:
How badly am I infected by this cranio-rectal disease virus?
If I took my head out of my arse might my life flow better?
Might the world be a better place?
Why do I struggle so hard to see that I (or WE) are not the epicentre of the known universe?